Jon Harper Postgame Press Conference - Lady Bears vs. Quinnipiac
Jon Harper embarks on his fourth season at Missouri State and 16th coaching alongside his wife and head coach Kellie in 2016-17. Assisting in all aspects of the program, Harper has mentored players who have earned a total of eight all-Missouri Valley Conference selections, including two-time first-team pick Kenzie Williams and 2016 MVC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Tyonna Snow.
The Lady Bears have improved their win total each season with Harper on staff, culminating in a 24-10 record, MVC Tournament championship and NCAA Tournament berth in 2016.
While at North Carolina State from 2009-13, Harper tutored four different players to a combination of all-Atlantic Coast Conference, all-ACC Freshman, all-tournament honors and a league Freshman of the Year award. Harper helped a team that was predicted to finish ninth in the ACC to a fifth-place finish and NCAA Tournament berth in 2010, as well as a pair of WNIT appearances his final two seasons.
Prior to NC State, Harper spent five years as an assistant coach at Western Carolina with Kellie, and before that three seasons at Chattanooga, before heading to WCU with Kellie for the 2004-05 campaign.
During his time at Western Carolina, Harper worked with the backcourt players and helped produce five all-conference selections and the Southern Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2008. The Catamounts advanced to the postseason four of his five years on staff, including a pair of NCAA Tournament berths.
Harper got the coaching bug while serving as a manager at Auburn for three seasons from 1996-99, and he worked his way up to numerous administrative responsibilities with the team.
While he was with Auburn, the Lady Tigers compiled a 58-29 record that included the 1997 SEC Tournament Championship and a pair of NCAA Tournament berths in 1997 and 1999.
Harper joined the Auburn team as manager starting in 1996-97 and worked up to head manager in 1998-99. That season Harper was charged with increasing responsibilities that included overseeing the men’s team that scrimmaged the Lady Tigers. He eventually served an internship with the coaching staff.
Harper earned his bachelor’s degree in health promotion/sports management in March 1999 and in May of that year married the former Kellie Jolly. After receiving his degree, Harper taught physical education and was an assistant football coach at Lee-Scott Academy in Auburn. He then moved into private business before joining the basketball coaching ranks on the Chattanooga staff.
The Harpers welcomed their first child, son Jackson, in November 2013.